A full Asian-style meal in the rice cooker! The rice is cooked below while the salmon and asparagus steam above.
Machine: Large (10-cup) rice cooker; on/off only
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
2-1/4 cups (3 rice cooker cups) Japanese-style or domestic medium-grain white jasmine rice
3 or 3-1/4 cups water (see directions)
2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce (available in Chinese markets or well-stocked supermarkets)
2 teaspoons sake
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound fresh asparagus, bottoms snapped off and stalks cut on the diagonal into 1-1/2-inch-long pieces
2 to 3 large chard leaves, stems discarded, Napa cabbage leaves, or lettuce leaves, for lining steamer basket
1 3/4- to 1-pound salmon fillet, rinsed and patted dry
6 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
2 green onions, white and tender green parts, slivered, for garnish
Wash or rinse the rice, if desired. Place it in the rice cooker with the water; add 3 cups water for Japanese-style rice, 3-1/4 cups for domestic.
Make the sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the black bean garlic sauce, sake, and sugar. Place the asparagus in a medium-size bowl and toss with half of the sauce.
Line the steamer basket with a single laver of chard, cabbage, or lettuce leaves. Place the salmon in the center of the basket. Cut 6 slits in the fish; insert a ginger slice into each slit. Spread the remaining sauce over the fish. Arrange the asparagus around the fish. Place the steamer basket in the rice cooker. Close the cover and set for the regular cycle.
When the machine switches to the Keep Warm cycle, let steam for 10 minutes. Check for doneness; the salmon and asparagus should be cooked through. If not, cover again and allow the fish to finish cooking, checking at 10-minute intervals.